Small Fry Saturday: Sometimes Just One Is Just Right

Small Fry Saturday is a meme inspired by The Well-Read Redhead, showcasing books our children enjoy.

This week’s pick is:

Title: Sometimes Just One Is Just Right
Author: Gayle Byrne
Illustrator: Mary Haverfield
Publisher: Abbeville Kids
Released: April 23, 2013
Source: publisher (NetGalley)

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

A lighthearted story about an only child who learns to appreciate being “just one.”

In this winsome story, a likeable young narrator explores the perks and pitfalls of being an only child. Comparing his situation to that of his cousin, Nico, who has many siblings, the narrator realizes that having a household full of brothers and sisters is not always as fun as it seems. Even though he is the only child at home, he has many family members who love and care for him – and so does his friend Lily, who’s an only child, too! Sometimes, he realizes, being just one is just right.

Finding a title like this has been in the back of my mind for a few months now. When I noticed the listing for Sometimes Just One Is Just Right on NetGalley, I had to request it. (Thanks for the review copy, Abbeville Kids!)

This is such a positive story! It focuses on all the great perks of being an only child, while portraying families of all sizes in an equally favorable light. The story acknowledges the occasional “grass is always greener” mentality and the loneliness only children sometimes experience. The narrator has a cheerful perspective which helps him work through those feelings, and that isn’t going to be lost on children who read the book.

My 4-year-old found the illustrations very exciting. She was drawn to the many details on each page and wanted to talk about everything she noticed. Everything. Because of that, we ended up looking through the book first, and then reading it! She also seemed to relate to the story itself, pointing out that she’s had experiences similar to the narrator.

In the midst of a multitude of books about the arrival of a new brother or sister, Sometimes Just One Is Just Right fills a much-needed gap by addressing the concerns most common to only children, while always maintaining a heartening, upbeat tone.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

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